Nantlle Ridge Hiking Guide

The perfect ridge walk

Published By: Daniel Woodley. Updated: 22nd April 2024. Filed at: Hiking Routes. Disclosure: I may earn a commission from purchases made via links.

Nantlle Ridge is one of the finest ridge walks in the UK. At just over 9km long and far quieter than the nearby Snowdon range, this ridge is well worth a visit.

Expect stunning views, exposed ridges and easy scrambling sections.

Here I’ll outline the route from Rhyd Ddu, finishing at Garnedd Goch, just above the village of Nebo. I did this route in 2023 and then returned the same way for a double traverse – that was a very long day for me (18km) and I had some very sore legs at the end.

Watch The Video

Route Profile

Length: 9km one way

Time: 4-6 hours one way

Grade: Hard mountain walk with sections of grade 1 scrambling

Start/End: Rhyd Ddu/Nebo

Hazards: Exposed ridges

Map (click to expand)

Nantlle Ridge map

Parking For Nantlle Ridge

Where to park will depend on whether you plan on hiking this route one way or returning to the start point.

On my first traverse of Nantlle Ridge, I parked at Rhyd Ddu train station (park here https://w3w.co/circling.diet.fussy or here https://w3w.co/heartless.strictly.promote ) and did a double traverse, there and back – it was a long day and one of the harder hikes I’ve done in Snowdonia.

For my second visit, I did a one-way route so I parked a car in the village of Nebo ( https://w3w.co/sped.powerful.trees ) and drove to Rhyd Ddu and parked the second car at the train station for the start.

I’ve seen many hikers park at one end and only traverse half of the ridge as the full there-and-back is 18km of hard strenuous hiking.

Mountain Walking in Snowdonia: 40 of the finest routes in Snowdonia | Cicerone Guides
Mountain Walking in Snowdonia: 40 of the finest routes in Snowdonia | Cicerone Guides
Mountain Walking in Snowdonia: 40 of the finest routes in Snowdonia | Cicerone Guides
Mountain Walking in Snowdonia: 40 of the finest routes in Snowdonia | Cicerone Guides

Rhyd Ddu to Y Garn

From the station car park, I went over the road and headed west on the well-made path and then onto the rugged east ridge of Y Garn.

This section of the route is quite a slog with a mixture of grass and gravel/stones underfoot.

There’s no scrambling on this first section and the summit is 633m above sea level.

Approaching the foot of Y Garn

Approaching the foot of Y Garn, the first summit.

Approaching the foot of Y Garn

Looking down to Rhyd Ddu from the summit of Y Garn.

Y Garn to Mynydd Drws-y-Coed

From the summit of Y Garn, I took the obvious path south for 1km to the summit of Mynydd Drws-y-Coed.

The west side of this exciting ridge is steep and offers delightful views down the valley.

There is some very light and short-lived scrambling over jumbled rocks in this section, but the difficulty never goes above grade 1.

The ridge up to Mynydd Drws-y-Coed

The ridge between Y Garn and Mynydd Drws-y-Coed

Path up Mynydd-Drws-y-Coed

Path up Mynydd-Drws-y-Coed

Mynydd-Drws-y-Coed to Trum y Ddysgl

From Mynydd Drws-y-Coed, the path descends and veers to the right (west) before it rises to the second-highest summit on the Nantlle Ridge – Trum y Ddysgl.

This path to this summit is slightly steeper but is mostly dirt, well-trodden and easy to follow.

Looking west to Trum y Ddysgl

On Mynydd Drws-y-Coed looking up to Trum y Ddysgl

Trum y Ddysgl

On Trum y Ddysgl with Mynydd Drws-y-Coed and Y Garn in the distance.

Trum y Ddysgl to Mynydd Tal y Mignedd

The section of the Nantlle Ridge starts on the summit of Trum y Ddysgl and takes the hiker southwest on a well-trodden path to The Obelisk on the summit of Mynydd Tal y Mignedd.

As you can see from the footage, the path is clearly visible and easy to follow.

Obelisk on Nantlle Ridge

The obelisk in the distance

Video of me relaxing by the Obelisk on the Nantlle Ridge

From the Obelisk to Craig Cwm Silyn

I’ve met a few hikers that only went as far as the Obelisk and then turned back but I’ll show you the rest of the route.

From the Obelisk, head south on a grassy ridge for 400m and then down a steepening path to the double col of Bwlch Dros Bern. From here, the route up to Craig Cwm Silyn beckons; take the route just to the right of the ridge crest if you enjoy scrambling (grade 1) or further right to avoid much of the scrambling.

Nantlle Ridge

Stay true to the crest (scrambling) or follow the path slightly to the right to avoid the steep sections

Path on Craig Cwm Silyn

The path up to Craig Cwm Silyn – rugged but mostly avoiding the scrambling sections

Craig Cwm Silyn summit

The summit of Craig Cwm Silyn

Craig Cwm Silyn to Garnedd Goch

From Craig Cwm Silyn, follow the broad featureless grassy ridge to the final summit of Garnedd Goch.

Note: I didn’t have any issue with navigating this section but I could imagine in low cloud/visibility, a map and compass would be required, this section of the route is truly featureless.

From this end point, you can either reverse the route for a mammoth 18km double traverse or head south-west towards the village of Nebo if you dropped off a car earlier in the day.

View to Garnedd Goch

The section between Craig Cwm Silyn and Garnedd Goch (mostly a broad, grassy ridge)

The final summit -Garnedd Goch

The final summit – Garnedd Goch

My Thoughts on Nantlle Ridge

I’ve done Nantlle Ridge twice and really enjoyed it both times.

The views on this quieter side of Snowdonia are stunning, and getting away from the crowds is always a bonus.

I found the double traverse (there and back) quite difficult as it was a hot day and 18km of mountainous trekking left me with very sore legs!

As a hiking route, I rate Nantlle Ridge very highly, but there’s very little scrambling en route, and most of it is very easy or can be avoided entirely.

Tips

This route is best avoided on really windy days as the ridge is exposed.

There are only a few places to fill up water bottles, so if you usually filter stream water en route, you’ll need to bring plenty with you.

Parking is limited in Rhyd Ddu and in Nebo, especially on busy summer weekends.

Regular mountain footwear will be just fine on the Nantlle Ridge. I’ve worn La Sportiva TX4 and also La Sportiva Trango Tech boots up there without issue.

About Daniel Woodley

This guide to Nantlle Ridge was created by Daniel Woodley, aka The Bald Scrambler.

From walking along beaches and kayaking down rivers to making his way up mountains and even jumping out of planes, Daniel has a love of the outdoors, but scrambling is his real passion.

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Daniel Woodley

Daniel Woodley aka The Bald Scrambler

Have fun, keep safe. Hopefully I’ll see you on the mountains one day

By The Bald Scrambler

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